Behind the Cannes Curtain with Festival Jurors

The Tree of Life

While the Cannes Film Festival douses the south of France with its high art cinema, like a sea spray wafting up from the region’s infamous mistral winds (plus movie stars, yachts and everything that comes with them), we get a glimpse at the elite festival’s jury. Among this year’s nine jurors is Kirsten Dunst, who proclaims being excited to “hash it out” with her comrades. Joining Dunst is jury president George Miller (Mad Max), Mads Mikkelson, Valeria Golina, Vanessa Paradis and Donald Sutherland. 

The festival is always mum on how it chooses its illustrious Palme d’Or winner each year, but THR delves into the methodologies of some past jury presidents. Steven Spielberg and Isabelle Adjani led with discipline and intense viewing schedules. Former jury head Atom Egoyan recalls watching great films, sharing meals and stories, while realizing: “We had wildly different tastes when it came to making a decision.” Back in the ’60s, Henry Miller spent more time playing golf than ruling the jury with an iron fist and some jurors recall situations when awards were given without even debating or adhering to a voting structure. This is not 12 Angry Men. Power plays in a place like Cannes. 

Check out interviews with last year’s jurors, here, and watch trailers for the past five Palme d’Or winners, below. As far as I’m concerned, at least two were undoubtably worthy winners.


The Tree of Life, 2011

Amour, 2012

Blue is the Warmest Color, 2013

Winter Sleep, 2014

Dheepan, 2015